The T20 fever has taken a back seat and the build-up for the 50-over World Cup 2023 will take the centre stage. From now on, the teams will focus more on the ODIs before gathering in India next year to fight for the title. The likes of Australia and defending champions have already taken their first steps in that direction and now, it’s the turn of India and New Zealand as they square off in 3-match ODI series, starting Friday in Auckland.
Both the knocked-out semi-finalists of the T20 World Cup 2022 will look forward to having the appropriate balance on the side. The Kiwis are on a quest to find people who can step into the shoes of Martin Guptill and Trent Boult who won’t be around for an indefinite period of time. Also, the eyes will be on captain Kane Williamson who hasn’t been in the best of forms lately. At the same time, a wobbly middle-order, which is majorly dependent on Glenn Phillips, needs to find answers to a few questions in the upcoming series.
India are back to square one as far as their team dynamics are concerned. The seniors have been rested and the youngsters are up there to seize the opportunity. The regular coaching unit, which is currently in India, will have its eyes glued to this series as they have a herculean task on their way – creating a road map to win the 2023 World Cup.
One of India’s flamboyant openers, Shikhar Dhawan is back in the blue and will lead the team against a full-strength Black Caps. He has been quite lucky when it comes to leading the team in the 50-over format as India has never lost a series under his leadership. It’s also a fact that the teams he has won against are nowhere placed in the top half of the ICC team rankings but, his leadership and way of backing the youngsters certainly make him a player to watch out for this series.
Dhawan, in all likelihood, will open the innings with Shubman Gill. The duo forms a fiery opening pair as they have forged three century stands in eight ODIs this year. It’s a great combo of youth and experience, hoping to push their cases against New Zealand.
Another exciting aspect of this side is in-form Suryakumar Yadav who is ruling the shortest format with his undefined shots. But coming into the ODIs, he still needs to break a few shackles. Unlike T20Is, he has played just 13 ODIs and amassed 340 runs at an average of 34. With the kind of form he is in, he would surely improve these stats and moreover, will end India’s hunt for an explosive No. 4 batter.
At the same time, the toss-up will be between Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant. There has already been a lot of commotion over the lack of chances for the Kerala cricketer which spiked up after he was benched in the New Zealand T20Is. Several experts have bluntly said that it’s high time to have Sanju ahead of Pant. But will the management go with this idea; the series will tell us once it gets underway.
A lot is being spoken about Hooda who recently proved that he can also be the handy sixth bowling option, something which the team has missed of late. And since the classic pair of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal is back, Hooda can be a great match-up.
In the pace unit, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Siraj, and Shardul Thakur could be tipped to form the bowling attack. However, Arshdeep Singh is very much in the fray, especially after his heroics in the shortest format. The same goes with Umran Malik who is trying every possible thing to cement his place in the Indian dressing room.
With too much firepower in the squad, the selection of the Playing XI becomes a tough task. But there is a lot on offer for the Indian fans who will be waking up early in the morning to catch the live action.
India: Shikhar Dhawan (captain), Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (vice-captain & wicket-keeper), Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Deepak Chahar and Umran Malik.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Michael Bracewell, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Tom Latham, Glenn Phillips, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Adam Milne and Tim Southee.